affection

noun
af·fec·tion | \ ə-ˈfek-shən \

Definition of affection 

1 : a feeling of liking and caring for someone or something : tender attachment : fondness She had a deep affection for her parents.

2 : a moderate feeling or emotion

3a(1) : a bodily condition

(2) : disease, malady a pulmonary affection

b : attribute shape and weight are affections of bodies

4 obsolete : partiality, prejudice

5 : the feeling aspect (as in pleasure) of consciousness

7 : the action of affecting : the state of being affected

8 : umlaut sense 2 used especially in the grammar of the Celtic languages

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Other words from affection

affectionless \-ləs \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for affection

feeling, emotion, affection, sentiment, passion mean a subjective response to a person, thing, or situation. feeling denotes any partly mental, partly physical response marked by pleasure, pain, attraction, or repulsion; it may suggest the mere existence of a response but imply nothing about the nature or intensity of it. the feelings that once moved me are gone emotion carries a strong implication of excitement or agitation but, like feeling, encompasses both positive and negative responses. the drama portrays the emotions of adolescence affection applies to feelings that are also inclinations or likings. a memoir of childhood filled with affection for her family sentiment often implies an emotion inspired by an idea. her feminist sentiments are well known passion suggests a very powerful or controlling emotion. revenge became his ruling passion

affectation and affection

Affectation looks a lot like a much more common word, affection. But the two are used very differently.

The more familiar word, affection, in modern use means "a feeling of liking and caring for someone or something," as in "They show their dog a lot of affection."

Affectation, on the other hand, refers to a form of behavior that's unnatural to the person engaging in it, and that is meant to impress other people. A phony accent someone uses to sound more sophisticated, for example, can be considered an affectation, as can pretending to know all about some obscure band in order to seem cool.

The words don't have much in common in their use, but their similarity in appearance is not coincidence. Both have to do with one of the trickiest words in the language: affect.

Affect is one of the most frequently looked-up words in the dictionary, primarily because of its regular confusion with effect. The short rationale that you often hear when it comes to distinguishing the two is that effect is usually a noun and affect is a verb. The breakdown isn't all that simple, however, and what makes things even more confusing is that there are two verb entries for affect.

One affect entry is for the sense meaning "to produce an effect upon (someone)" or "to act upon (a person, a person's mind or feelings, etc.) so as to effect a response." This is the sense that connects to affection, as in "We were affected by the young woman's heartfelt speech." Being affected by something in this way doesn't necessarily result in affection, but it can.

The other verb affect is defined as "to make a display of liking or using : cultivate" or "to put a pretense on : feign." It is used when talking about things like styles or mannerisms, as in "He affected a British accent and tweedy look after reading nothing but Sherlock Holmes stories for months on end."

The two verbs affect took different etymological paths from the same origin. The "put on a pretense" sense of affect derives via Middle English and Anglo-French from the Latin affectāre, meaning "to try to accomplish, strive after, pretend to have." Affectāre is a derivative of afficere, which means "to produce an effect on, exert an influence on"; the affect related to affection is from a variant of afficere.

Examples of affection in a Sentence

She has deep affection for her parents. He shows great affection for his grandchildren. feelings of love and affection He now looks back on those years with great affection. She developed a deep affection for that country and its people.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Leave No Trace opens in the sunlit woods, the warm green tones in sympathy with Will and Tom's affection as they forage for food. J.r. Jones, Chicago Reader, "Leave No Trace approaches homelessness on the most intimate terms," 11 July 2018 But while arriving at the Royal Air Force Westminster Abbey service on Tuesday, the Duke and Duchess opted for a close but coy gesture of affection in public, with Meghan holding tightly onto her husband’s arm during their arrival. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Shy PDA is the Sweetest Part of Their RAF Centenary Appearance," 10 July 2018 The outpouring of affection and respect from the community was awesome. Steve West, Sun-Sentinel.com, "A rally for MAMA | Opinion," 9 July 2018 The revival of Car 554 has been a labor of deep affection. Jacques Kelly, baltimoresun.com, "Jacques Kelly: Museum's restoration of Car 554 brings back the era of open summer streetcars," 7 July 2018 Ben Affleck and girlfriend Lindsay Shookus (inset) have shared meals and affection in Southern California. Globe Correspondent, BostonGlobe.com, "Moving trucks spotted outside Ben Affleck’s home," 6 July 2018 The two have consistently avoided dating rumors, but have never shied away from public displays of affection and attending high profile events together. Sarah Michaud, EW.com, "Katharine McPhee and David Foster are engaged," 3 July 2018 Not Doing Anything Wrong’ The two have consistently avoided dating rumors, but have never shied away from public displays of affection and attending high profile events together. Sarah Michaud, PEOPLE.com, "They're Engaged! David Foster Proposes to Katharine McPhee During Romantic Italian Getaway," 3 July 2018 But, because her soul is full of love and kindness, any demonstration of affection by anyone is rewarded with her trust. Peggy Calhoun, idahostatesman, "Meridian Pet of the Week: Mia," 2 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'affection.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of affection

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for affection

Middle English affeccioun "capacity for feeling, emotion, desire, love," borrowed from Anglo-French, "desire, love, inclination, partiality," borrowed from Latin affectiōn-, affectiō "frame of mind, feeling, feeling of attachment," from affec- (variant stem of afficere "to produce an effect on, exert an influence on") + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of action nouns — more at affect entry 3

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Learn More about affection

Phrases Related to affection

term of affection

Statistics for affection

Last Updated

6 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for affection

The first known use of affection was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for affection

affection

noun
af·fec·tion | \ ə-ˈfek-shən \

Kids Definition of affection

: a feeling of liking and caring for someone or something He shows great affection for his grandchildren.

affection

noun
af·fec·tion | \ ə-ˈfek-shən \

Medical Definition of affection 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a moderate feeling or emotion

2 : the feeling aspect (as in pleasure or displeasure) of consciousness

affection

noun

Medical Definition of affection (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the action of affecting : the state of being affected

2a : a bodily condition

b : disease, malady a pulmonary affection

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Comments on affection

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